Q & A with Attorney Mitch Vilos

QUESTION – Re:  Utah’s § 76-2-405 Force in Defense of Habitation.

Mr. Vilos,

Your opinion on 76-2-405, Do Sub Section (1) (a) conflict with Sub Section (2)?

  • (1)(a) – is assaulting or personal violence
  • (2) – is imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury

I do have your book Self-Defense Laws.

Thank you sir, Claude


Claude, Excellent question.

There is no conflict. (2) simply creates a presumption of death or serious injury even if there wasn’t one as long as it’s an unlawful entry or attempted entry and either loud or sneaky. So there is a lower threshold for home defense. All you need is fear of an assault or personal violence (redundant?). You don’t have to see a weapon. If you have an assault or personal violence, then (2) treats that fear the same as fear of death or serious injury. It takes into account the fact that if it’s a night time entry, for example, by the time you actually identify a weapon you could be dead. So it shifts the legal burden (as well as the probability of dying) from the homeowner to the unlawful intruder.


3 thoughts on “Q & A with Attorney Mitch Vilos

  1. I just read your book, and I found this in my city’s ordinances-Every person who carries a loaded firearm in a vehicle or on any public street in this city is guilty of a class B misdemeanor. (Prior code § 11-8-17) Due to Utah’s uniformity laws, this isn’t legal is it?

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